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Best Place to Pretend You're Peter Graves 

San Francisco International Airport

Say what you will about drafty old roll-up-the-sidewalks-at-midnight SFO, it has a certain undeniable international-intrigue cachet that conjures up flutes, bongo drums, and blaring brass sections. Position yourself in a chair by the flight desk and check out the luggage-burdened passers-by: an old German scientist over here, a Hong Kong munitions dealer over there, a faded contessa rummaging for a cigarette right in front of you. Sweat your way through the metal detector -- note to self: leave the Altoids at home -- and settle in at one of the many lounges (preferably with a scotch and soda), a handy place to make contact with that forger from Istanbul. If the tape deck and dossier weren't in the potted fern where they were supposed to be, content yourself at the airport's usually interesting art exhibits, or watch the planes take off for Grand Rapids, Sioux City, and points between.


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